Aurora College is confident there won’t be big financial costs from offering students refunds who are dissatisfied with online learning, as they continue to plan for the future.

The college will be continuing to offer programs online and in-person in the winter 2021 semester and will still be offering refunds for students who aren’t satisfied, according to a statement released on Thursday.

President of Aurora College, Andy Bevan, said offering the refunds was important because otherwise students may be hesitant to sign up for classes.

Andy Bevan (left) at an MOU signing for cooperation between three NT colleges in September. File photo.

“As this is a different style of learning and instruction, we expect that some students will discover that it is not the best option for them,” he said, in an email. “It was important that our students have an opportunity to try, knowing that they could make the decision for themselves.”

If students are dissatisfied with the program they can complete a form and write “experience guarantee” in the comments section, and are given a full refund.

Partial refunds have been granted to students in the past who have dropped out of courses, and Bevan said they don’t anticipate the number of students seeking a refund this year will be “much higher than what we normally see.” 

Bevan said students have been informed about the refund process several times but said the school is confident in the online programming they have been delivering.

“Students who choose to withdraw for any reason are likely making the best decision for themselves at that time, and we encourage them to return at a time better suited to their circumstances,” he added.

Aurora College also released its strategic plan on Tuesday, outlining its commitment to continue in its transition to a polytechnic university as part of the GNWT’s mandate to create a polytechnic.